How can we start drawing a village using inkarnate, the fantasy map program? But obviously starting from the road network!

Like every week, we come back with a new one tutorial su inkarnate, the software for drawing fantasy maps. If you missed them, in the past few weeks we have explained how to use the backgrounds and colors, how to draw a river, how to use expansion "Ice" and how to draw the streets.

Today, however, we will use what we learned with the tutorial on the roads to draw the skeleton of a village: the road network.

In fact, although you can also design a village by inserting the buildings first and then drawing the streets, starting from the communication routes allows you to have a more precise idea of ​​the space your village will occupy. Also, by drawing different squares and streets, you can decide that types of neighborhoods they will form your city.

The two villages that will be represented on this map are part of theIrish setting of our campaign for Pathfinder, The book of invasions. Campaign maps will be freely available on our Patreon, while The book of invasions it will be available to those who support the Seekers of Atlantis with a $ 3 pledge. Quyou can find, for free, the Presentation of the campaign.

The starting map to draw the road map!
The starting map to draw the road network!

Main roads: the basis of the road network

First, you need to decide where to place the major communication routes in the city, corresponding to its city center and the richest and most well-kept areas of the village. These roads, presumably, will be pavedso we can draw them in gray tones, as we already saw in the tutorial on the streets.

Villages of a few thousand people will not have many paved streets, so in general it is more realistic to include only the most important communication routes as main.

In this case, we have two different villages that rise on both sides of the river: An Inse left and Atha Bui to the right. They belong to two different realms, Meath on the right and Munster on the left. None of them are particularly populous, so both will have only a few main routes.

An Inse stands on the rocky elevation around which the river flows, so the core of its houses will have been built right on this hill, from which we will start its main street. The cobbled street of An Inse forks once you descend from the hill: one part goes south towards the river (where there is supposed to be a bridge), while the other continues west, to connect with the other towns of Munster.

Atha Bui stands on a mainly flat area and therefore its main road passes along the river, where there will be the main commercial activities. This road joins the paved road which, going east, connects Atha Bui with the other inhabited centers of the Meath.

Squares: a matter of shades

When designing the road network, you will also have to ask yourself where the major ones are (and if there are) squares of your villages. Most inhabited centers will have one, in which all the most important activities will take place, from the market to executions.

In this case, Atha Bui and An Inse are towns civilized and rich enough to have cobbled squares, so the we will incorporate in the main streets. Atha Bui will have the square at the intersection of the river street and the one that goes east, while An Inse will have the square on the hill, well protected.

Using the same road base, that is OCEAN-01-GRAY-02-SL, Size 12, Softness 0,5 e Opacity 0,7, draw the shape of the square. Then, using the same color as the central part of the street, in this case OCEAN-01-GRAY-03-SLBut with Softness e Opacity at 0,3slightly darken the center of the square, leaving the edges lighter.

If you want to give the sensation of traffic and the constant passage of wagons, increase theOpacity at 0,40 and decrease the Size to 3. In this way, you can draw some small and scattered crossed lines, which give the impression of wear of the stone (or the ground) as the wagons pass.

The main roads certainly stand out!
The main roads certainly stand out!

Secondary roads: the chaotic part of the road network

When designing secondary roads, always keep in mind the type of city and civilization you are designing. In fact, if the Romans built their cities in an orderly way and on a rectangular basis, in the European Middle Ages things became more chaotic.

If you have visited cities with a medieval layout, you will probably remember the tangle of very narrow streets. In early medieval Ireland, things probably weren't too different, bearing in mind that most of the buildings were wooden.

using earthy colors and a brush of Size smaller than that of the main roads, create a network of streets around the main streets. Don't worry too much about being precise, but think about where roads might surround walls, such as around the rise of An Inse.

As you can see, Atha Bui has one more regular road network compared to An Inse, and this is due to the fact that Atha Bui was built by Exiles who escaped from the Empire of Astra. In fact, this empire of arcanists tended to plan their cities on a regular basis; therefore, for better or for worse, the Exiles carry this inheritance with them. The Gnomes of An Inse, on the other hand, don't care enough about perpendicular intersections and have a chaotic road network.

At the intersections of secondary roads and main roads, decrease the opacity of the dark center of the secondary road, until you have Opacity 0,3, and click with the brush on the main road. That way, you won't create a clean deadlift and give the feeling of the mud of the secondary road that invades the paving of the main one.

Remember to "eat away" part of the secondary streets that are lost in the fields around the city, so as to give the idea that little by little they disappear, without creating a clear end.

Here is the complete road map! Ready to fill it with buildings?
Here is the complete road map! Ready to fill it with buildings?

And remember that the map is not yet finished!

In general, drawing the roads on Inkarnate is to draw colored lines. Of necessity, they will always have a certain Paintiness. However, I assure you that once you have entered the houses and everything that makes up your city, the whole picture will be much better!

There is still a lot to do to complete the map, so get ready for the next tutorials: how to create a village?